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Gaming industry works to combat unregulated gaming machines

The American Gaming Association (AGA) is looking to end the spread of unregulated gaming machines in the U.S., including a growing number of them in D.C. and Virginia. 

The casino group is partnering with the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers (AGEM) on a campaign to provide state and local lawmakers, law enforcement and regulatory agencies with resources about the machines, the group announced this week.

Arcade games where the player can win cash are in more than 6,000 Virginia convenience stores, as well as bars, restaurants, gas stations and laundromats, WAMU reported. There are only a “handful” of such games in D.C., so far.

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The gaming industry equates such games to “low-rent slot machines.”

AGA said the games raise concerns like a lack of testing, consumer protections and responsible gaming measures.

“Stamping out the illegal market that threatens the safety of consumers will always be one of the gaming industry’s highest priorities,” Bill Miller, AGA president and CEO, said in a press release. 

He noted that lawmakers in Virginia and some other states are already taking legislative actions to outlaw the games.

“Unfortunately, other jurisdictions where these machines have become pervasive may believe their only recourse is to regulate and tax them,” Miller said. “Rewarding bad behavior is not the answer, and we hope our education efforts will make it clear that the only real solution is to stop the spread of these devices.” 

Twenty other professional gaming organizations are joining AGA and AGEM to oppose the games, including the National Indian Gaming Association and the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries.

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